The pain in my shoulder flared, gasping, I reached up to grab it. “Thanks for the warning,” I muttered under my breath. I looked up and noticed we were not, as I expected, back at Malfoy Manor.
A sharp pain went through my head and out of the corner of my eye I saw two children lying by a river that was close to us. Another sharp pain in my head made me blink a few times while I rubbed the back of my head. I turned towards where I had seen the children but no one was there. Narcissa grabbed my right arm, making me jump.
“We should go quickly,” she said in a low voice. I wanted to ask where it was we were going but with the pain in my head I just let her drag me towards the town. I squinted, looking at the buildings, with a jolt I realized they were muggle houses. I glanced at Narcissa, finally taking in what she was wearing. It wasn’t quite something she would regularly wear and it wasn’t something most muggles nowadays would wear. It could pass as some sort of vintage dress I suppose.
I kept seeing the same two children out of the corner of my eye. One was a red haired girl, the other a boy around the same age with black hair. They felt familiar to me even though I knew I’d never seen them in my life. Every time I turned to get a good look they vanished. By the fourth time this happened I realized it wasn’t me seeing them. This was someone else’s memory slipping through. Maybe these had been two children he killed? I couldn’t think of why else my father would have a memory of two apparently muggle children. All I knew was that they were giving me a headache, I strengthened my mental barriers and tried my best to ignore them.
Narcissa seemed to be looking for a particular house but kept glancing back at me. It was really starting to get annoying. After several minutes she must to have found the right house because she knocked on the door. I took a closer look at the house trying to figure out why it felt so familiar. Like the memory of the children, it confused me. I didn’t have much time to ponder it though because the door opened and a figure I did know stood in the door way.
“Professor?” I asked, surprised.
He looked as confused as I felt but recovered from it quickly. “Mrs. Malfoy, Miss Lestrange.” He looked me over and stepped aside so we could enter the house. “I was not expecting you, I apologize.”
“I am sorry for the sudden visit Severus. It was urgent though,” Narcissa explained as Snape closed the door.
“I can see that.” I frowned wondering how bad I could possibly look. Dumbledore hadn’t seemed to sense anything, maybe Snape knew me too well.
We followed him into a sitting room of sorts, there were dozens of books though. Probably a couple hundred actually. The windows were completely covered and only an oil lantern and a few candles were lit. It was a very Snape-ish room.
“Sit,” he ordered, leading me to the single chair. As I sat down he prodded my shoulder. Of course I hadn’t been expecting it and cussed at him while pulling my body away.
“It is no matter Narcissa,” Snape said waving his hand. He pulled out his wand and conjured a tank top. “She needs to put this on so I can look at it freely.” He handed the top to Narcissa and left the room.
With her help it only took a couple of minutes to change and I was looking at my scarred shoulder when Snape came back carrying several items in a cauldron. He looked displeased as he studied my wound.
“Fell down some stairs. Those pesky house elves, always polishing the marble. Honestly, being efficient house cleaners, how dare they,” I responded in an offended tone. Too bad he saw through that lie. Did I mention that Snape knew me too well?
“Hmm. How long has it been like this?”
“Couple of days.” I answered.
“Two weeks,” Narcissa told him at the same time.
He ignored me and turned to Narcissa. “You should have brought her here days ago or at least owled me.”
I was about to speak up when he prodded my arm again, causing me to glare at him.
“Lucius has been…difficult this summer,” Narcissa explained.
Snape nodded and started mixing a plaster on the table next to the chair I was setting in. “Understandable,” he said as he added different ingredients to the cauldron.
So Snape knew that Lucius had lost his position of school governor. Maybe he also knew what had caused it too. I couldn’t exactly ask him at the moment with Narcissa here though.
“When was the last time you had a pain reliever potion?”
“Er…like an hour ago.” He glanced at Narcissa to confirm this. “Oi! I can at least tell time,” I said offended.
“You have a…habit of using euphemisms.” I raised an eyebrow at him. “That was a polite way of saying you tend to lie.”
“You’re never polite unless I’m dying,” I responded.
“You’re not dying,” he said firmly. “You’ll have to deal with Salem Institute another year I’m afraid.”
He stopped mixing and looked me in the eye. There was a look of disappointment that made me feel guiltier then Lucius Malfoy ever could.
“You were expelled.” It wasn’t a question.
I felt uneasy under his gaze and looked at one of the walls instead. “Dumbledore pretty much accepted me to Hogwarts,” I muttered.
He paused. “Pretty much?”
“I have to do some tests, practical spells I guess, to see if I measure up to the third year curriculum.”
“You should have no problem then. I am curious about what you said to Dumbledore for him to approve this though.”
“A bunch of rubbish that he saw through.”
“Of course.” After a few more minutes and some prodding of my shoulder he spoke again. “I can’t use magic to fix it.”
“It’s not broken,” I pointed out.
“No but it is dislocated. Also it will hurt more to fix it now.”
“You will be able to though, won’t you?” Narcissa asked worried.
“Yes, but it will have to be done the muggle way and without any pain reliever. That’s not including the damage that has already gone on for two weeks. You must have been in enormous pain. Did you not mention this to anyone?” he asked looking at me.
“She was using two vials of pain reliever a day,” Narcissa informed him. Inside I cringed knowing he would see through that.
“How much potion did you take a day?” he asked.
“Er…a few a day,” I answered evasively.
“Be more specific,” he demanded.
“A sip every hour or so,” I admitted.
“Something you made yourself?”
“Strongest pain potion I knew, without poisoning myself.” I heard Snape sigh.
“Jade! If you had told me, I would have brought you to see Severus days ago,” Narcissa scolded me.
“Yeah, because that wouldn’t have made Lucius suspicious at all,” I said sarcastically.
“I know how to handle Lucius,” she said curtly.
Snape cut off the bickering by conjuring a rope. “I’m tying you to the chair,” he told me. I glared at him again. “It’s safer than using magic at the present time.” I had a sense of foreboding as he tied my legs and arms to the chair. “It’s going to hurt,” he warned.
“I think I’ll survive.”
He looked like he wanted to reprimand me, instead he conjured a piece of wood about the size of a cob of corn. I looked at it confused.
“Bite down on it.”
“I would prefer if the muggles didn’t call the authorities claiming to hear your screams.”
“That bad?” I asked.
“You’ve had worse,” he reminded me.
Yeah, I’d been in worse shape more than once in the past. I bit down on the wood and waited for him. I looked at the wall and mentally started counting down from 100 in Arabic. Before I had even reached 90 there was a giant spasm of pain and I felt my bone pop back in place. My eyes watered and I jerked a bit in the chair but Snape and the rope stopped me from moving too much. Snape untied the rope and banished it away with a flick of his wand. I took the piece of wood out of my mouth and dropped it on the floor.
“Better?” he asked.
“Loads,” I said sarcastically.
“I assume it will get better within a few days. The curse damage however, is not possible to reverse. You do remember the warnings I gave you, correct?”
“I know.” How could I ever forget those?
“Next time anything like this happens, I expect you to contact me immediately. Lucius can be handled, with a memory charm if need be.”
“I understand Severus,” Narcissa said softly.
Snape started applying the paste he had made for my scar. I watched him work while trying to ignore that the purplish-black veins around the wound had crept over my body a little bit more.
“You should take Ancient Runes,” Snape said suddenly.
“Huh?” I asked looking up at him.
“Third year is when you start new classes. You should take Ancient Runes. It will put your linguistics to use,” he explained.
I nodded, that made sense. “Any other suggestions?”
“DON’T take Divination.”
“Will I start seeing omens of death everywhere?” I asked skeptically.
“You’ll realize it’s a pointless subject and start creating ways to torment the teacher.”
My mind drifted to Japan, but seeing as neither Snape nor Narcissa knew about the young seer, I responded with my usual sarcastic attitude. “Now you’re just encouraging me to take it.”
“Arithmancy and Care of Magical Creatures,” Snape said ignoring me. “Those would be my choices.”
“Care of Magical Creatures?” It wasn’t a class I would have picked out for myself.
“You need to do more than read-“
“I brew potions,” I said, cutting him off.
“Something that involves more interaction with living things.”
“Are you trying to make me befriend a fire crab?”
“I’m trying to get you to do more than read books.”
“Says the guy with a couple hundred books in his living room”
I heard him sigh in defeat. I was sure if Narcissa wasn’t here he would have said more.
“When’s your next meeting with Dumbledore?” he asked instead, while handing me my shirt.
“In a week,” Narcissa answered.
“A bit longer than I would prefer, however she should be fine until then. Visit after you’ve finished there, I will be waiting.” He handed me a small bottle from inside his robes. “Two drops only. One in the morning, one at night.” I nodded, putting it in my pocket.
“Thank you, Severus.” Narcissa said helping me slip my shirt over the tank top.
“Do try not to cause further damage, Miss Lestrange,” Snape said as we headed to the door. I could tell there was more he wanted to say. Probably wondering why I had been expelled, asking if I had a death wish or maybe just reminding me to be on guard around Dumbledore. Thankfully I didn't have to answer his questions now.
Narcissa and I were walking away from the house when a question came to mind. “How exactly do you know where Snape lives?”
Of course Narcissa ignored me and continued walking. I didn’t think she was going to answer, but as we reached the field where we’d apparated she said simply. “Never underestimate a witch on a mission.”
I smirked as she reached for my arm to take us back to Malfoy Manor.